Employee associations of energy utility BESCOM have demanded an apology from Srinivaspura MLA Ramesh Kumar for his remarks against the company’s staff.
The MLA reportedly told a review meeting of the Zilla Panchayat in Kolar on Tuesday that BESCOM officials were blocking water supply programmes and they must be “tied to trees and kept without food and water for three days”.
This has infuriated employee associations, which have vowed to pursue the matter till he apologises or is disqualified from the Assembly.
On Wednesday, the Federation of Karnataka Electricity Board Employees Union and Associations said it would resort to protests to make its point. “He said our employees must be hacked and tied to trees and kept hungry. All he had to do was ask the senior officials to deal with the issue and it could have been sorted out,” said M Nagaraju, president of the union.
He said the employees will protest in front of the KPTCL office till the matter is resolved. The union will also submit requests for action to the Chief Minister, the Assembly Speaker and other officials, he said.
BESCOM Managing Director Pankaj Kumar Pandey also criticised the statement and said, “Such statements from responsible public representatives are demoralising and highly deplorable.”
He clarified that energisation of water supply installations is a top priority for BESCOM and that the MLA’s statement asking for action against its employees was wrong.
“Any such illegal connection amounts to theft under section 135 of the Electricity Act 2003 and is a punishable fence,” he said.